Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of Doctor Sleep already has some big names attached, and this most recent casting announcement is no different. Doctor Sleep is Stephen King’s follow-up to his iconic 1977 novel The Shining. In it, we find Danny Torrence as an adult man struggling with the sins of his father and the responsibly of his telekinetic powers. Flanagan has already proven himself to be a devout King fan and will no doubt deliver a respectful adaptation that fans and author alike will enjoy.
According to Deadline, Alex Essoe (Midnighters) and Carl Lumbly (Alias) will be joining the movie in a pair of roles that fans will remember well from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Essoe, best remembered for vomiting out blood-soaked maggots in 2014’s Starry Eyes, will take on the role of Wendy Torrence, originally played by Shelley Duvall.
For those unfamiliar with the novel, the casting of Lumbly will come as a surprise. His character, part-time cook/full-time shiner Dick Hallorann, died near the end of the original. Hallorann lived in the book and his role in the story of Doctor Sleep is a key one. Lumbly is a veteran actor audiences will know from long stints on Alias and Cagney & Lacey. Personally, I will always remember him best from his role in Eighties sci-fi blowout The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension.
The pair join a film already filling up with some major talent. Mike Flanagan’s horror bona fides were already proven with 2013’s Oculus and the surprise success of Ouija: Origin of Evil. He’s no stranger to King’s written works either, having directed Netflix’s 2017 adaptation of Gerald’s Game. Danny “REDRUM” Torrence will be played by Ewan McGregor (Trainspotting, Star Wars Episode I-III), whom we can only assume will claim the high ground at some point. In a recent interview with the Toronto Star McGregor stated “I think [Stephen King] felt The Shining wasn’t a faithful adaptation of his book. Our script is faithful to his novel. But for one thing. And I’m not going to give anything away”. What that “one thing” will be, is anyone’s guess.
Doctor Sleep follows Danny Torrence in his 40s. His life is a mess and he’s recovering from addiction. His father (memorably played, though not to King’s tastes, by Jack Nicholson) was a murdering psychotic. Danny is afraid he’s becoming too much like his father, but more immediate concerns arise. A cult of immortals has appeared, who sustain themselves feeding on powers like his. Danny must confront his past and fight, in order to stop these evil forces and save his future.